Activities in this project component entail:
- Standardization of data collection and reporting; development of data storage routines and analytical tools such as statistical modules, modules for spatial analysis (GIS approach) and time series analysis;
- Organization of resources and ecosystem surveys in close collaboration with partners using the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen;
- Capacity building including on board training and organization of workshops on survey data analysis;
- Establishment and/or strengthening of regional and international scientific working groups (in order to include ecosystem considerations in business of the working groups);
- Development of scientific indicators for ecosystem monitoring based on both fisheries dependent and independent data; and
- Consideration and identification of socio-economic indicators.
A number of surveys have already been undertaken in the East Central and Southeastern Atlantic ocean areas (in the Guinea Current and Benguela current Large Marine Ecosystems respectively) and in the South West Indian ocean area, These include the historic 118 days survey undertaken by the project in partnership with the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME) project. It is believed that this is the longest and possibly the most ambitious research cruise to take place in the South Western Indian Ocean region. The survey with R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen began on 18th August and ended on 17th December 2008. It included a full survey of the marine and coastal environment of Madagascar, Mauritius, the Mozambique Channel and a remote ocean region known as the Mascarene Plateau and covered some of the least studied ocean regions in the world.
A presentation of the main results of each survey to stakeholders, including fisheries administrators, scientists and fishers, is central to this activity. In one such presentation in Mozambique, senior officials at the Ministry of Fisheries lead by the Minister, representatives from the Norwegian Embassy in Maputo, representatives from the fishing industry, members of the press, national TV and newspapers, and scientists from the fisheries and oceanographic institute and universities attended in their numbers.
The project is also working on the development of a new version of the Nansis software which is a tool for storing and analysis of ecosystem survey data and for reporting. The new version has already been introduced at a workshop on survey data analysis organised in Accra, Ghana in December 2008.
Under this component, an expert meeting for the development of GIS for EAF was held in Rome late last year (2008).
The meeting concluded that the data collected by the EAF-Nansen project activities will represent a great opportunity as the basis for good case studies to explore the potential use of GIS and spatial analysis in support to EAF. In order to advance the EAF-Nansen project with respect to GIS and based on agreed set of criteria, Northwest Africa and Angola were selected as the areas for conducting two pilot projects that would comprise of demonstration projects showing, initially how the Nansis data could form the basis for the GIS work in support of EAF.